(ThyBlackMan.com) The greatest teacher in life one can have is called experience. Experience literally molds and shapes you into who you are and will become as you progress through this journey called life. As for me, my teacher has taken me through many trials and tribulations from the streets of Chicago in the ‘80s and 90’s through military basic training, several active-duty stations, multiple trips to the sandbox of Iraq, living and traveling to many countries throughout Europe, two marriages, and having children and being a grandfather. One can accurately call me a student of history and living history. One can accurately say that I have experienced and seen a lot of things that most of my age and socioeconomic status will never get to experience.
In my high school years, I was a pseudo-nerd; A’s and Bs mostly, dressed nice, spoke articulately, participated in many activities before and after school. I was an avid reader of history, philosophy, and politics. I was highly observant of my surroundings – especially with people – since I didn’t care to talk much, I listened and watched. 1994-1998 were the defining years of my life at the time. If I was going to make something of myself as an adult, I’d better start figuring out what that was going to be now. Lawyer! That is what I wanted to be. I studied and studied, then saw the price tag and schooling commitment required. So goes that idea!
The 1996 elections were my first taste of being politically involved. I worked at my great-aunt’s church as a poll worker for high school extra credit (I just wanted to do it, didn’t need the points). I did learn a great deal that evening that sparked the greatest political interest that a young Black man could have. Why did literally every Black person vote Democrat or was registered Democrat? All the other ethnic groups were mixed in this. I spoke to my Social Studies teacher about this and later my African American history teacher and their answers (being they both were white) was shallow in my opinion. “That is just the way it has been since the 1970s…” Hmmm. My family members gave me the “Republicans are racists and White people are Republicans and Black people are Democrats and that’s just the way it is!” Still not satisfied, I struck out to do my own research.
What I have found was that most people didn’t bother to peel back the onion on a lot of the issues of the day. No one ever saw a White Republican, let alone a Black Republican to say they are racist. Democrats ran all the communities in Chicago and the greater Chicagoland area. The ones I did venture into that was “Republican” ran were nice and I didn’t have any problems there. PBS’ “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” documentary series opened my eyes to a lot of things that went on during the Civil Rights era of the 1960s as it relates to now. This further solidified my growing sense of political alignment. Then, what sealed the deal for me was a candid discussion with two Black teachers that assisted on my Chess team – we had an Asian Head Coach. The two teachers, male and female, were closet Republicans. They dare not speak about their politics but played the “go along to get along” with their colleagues. They explained a lot to me during our practices when they came around about being a Republican.
It was put to me plainly. “Randy, you must look at what the parties and the candidates stand for. Find what you are most closely aligned to. You won’t agree on everything, and you must take up the positions that are best for your family and community and push for them.”
We fought to assimilate into this country for equal rights and equal treatment, but somewhere somehow, we continue to simultaneously fight for separation and want to be treated differently. It is a conundrum I have struggled to understand for over 25 years. As a Black man, I chose to be a Republican. A Conservative. Because that is the platform, the values, and the policies that MOST closely align with ME.
Recent polls and legacy news outlets have been talking about the waning support of Black men for Biden and the Democrats. This is a “dog-whistle” that is saying that the Democrats must do something to whip the Black men back into line. Being politically and economically displaced and replaced by the surge of migrants – namely Chicago and New York – may not be enough for the Dems “Great Replacement Strategy”. The question remains, how much longer will the 90% Black Democrat voting bloc continue to support their own demise?
Staff Writer; Randy Purham
This brother is a Former US Congressional Candidate for the House of Representatives for the state of Alaska At-Large. He is the CEO of Purham & Associates, LLC and Host of Purham & Associates Show on TECNTV.com.